Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF) Binding Protein-2, Independently of IGF-1, Induces GLUT-4 Translocation and Glucose Uptake in 3T3-L1 Adipocytes

Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2017;2017:3035184. doi: 10.1155/2017/3035184. Epub 2017 Dec 20.


Insulin-like growth factor binding protein-2 (IGFBP-2) is the predominant IGF binding protein produced during adipogenesis and is known to increase the insulin-stimulated glucose uptake (GU) in myotubes. We investigated the IGFBP-2-induced changes in basal and insulin-stimulated GU in adipocytes and the underlying mechanisms. We further determined the role of insulin and IGF-1 receptors in mediating the IGFBP-2 and the impact of IGFBP-2 on the IGF-1-induced GU. Fully differentiated 3T3-L1 adipocytes were treated with IGFBP-2 in the presence and absence of insulin and IGF-1. Insulin, IGF-1, and IGFBP-2 induced a dose-dependent increase in GU. IGFBP-2 increased the insulin-induced GU after long-term incubation. The IGFBP-2-induced impact on GU was neither affected by insulin or IGF-1 receptor blockage nor by insulin receptor knockdown. IGFBP-2 significantly increased the phosphorylation of PI3K, Akt, AMPK, TBC1D1, and PKCζ/λ and induced GLUT-4 translocation. Moreover, inhibition of PI3K and AMPK significantly reduced IGFBP-2-stimulated GU. In conclusion, IGFBP-2 stimulates GU in 3T3-L1 adipocytes through activation of PI3K/Akt, AMPK/TBC1D1, and PI3K/PKCζ/λ/GLUT-4 signaling. The stimulatory effect of IGFBP-2 on GU is independent of its binding to IGF-1 and is possibly not mediated through the insulin or IGF-1 receptor. This study highlights the potential role of IGFBP-2 in glucose metabolism.

MeSH terms

  • 3T3-L1 Cells
  • Adipocytes / drug effects*
  • Adipocytes / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Glucose / pharmacokinetics*
  • Glucose Transporter Type 4 / metabolism*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2 / pharmacology*
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / metabolism
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I / pharmacology*
  • Mice
  • Transfection


  • Glucose Transporter Type 4
  • Insulin
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein 2
  • Slc2a4 protein, mouse
  • insulin-like growth factor-1, mouse
  • Insulin-Like Growth Factor I
  • Glucose